Procedure to remove newsgroups
Though it is uncertain how many news administrators still comply with the rmgroup control messages used to remove newsgroups, the Big-8 Management Board believes that it is in the interests of the Big 8 to remove unused and abandoned groups from the canonical list. This is particularly true for abandoned moderated newsgroups, since submitted posts simply vanish without explanation, much to the confusion or frustration of users.
In 2007 the Board adopted a policy for removing extremely low-traffic unmoderated groups. The relevant procedures are summarized as follows:
1. Determine candidate groups. Once per year, the Board makes a call in news.announce.newgroups for traffic data on low traffic groups. Interested individuals may respond to the call. The Board uses its discretion to determine which groups merit further consideration, subject to certain constraints. The Board then posts an announcement to news.announce.newgroups and news.groups.proposals listing the groups under consideration and the procedure for discussion. The list and procedure is discussed for at least 7 days in news.groups.proposals, after which the Board may remove groups from the list or modify the proposed procedure.
2. User feedback for candidate groups. The Board posts an article to each candidate group to solicit feedback on the proposed removal and to indicate where this feedback is to be submitted. The feedback period lasts at least 21 days and no more than 42 days.
3. Finalize list of groups to be removed. The Board uses its discretion to determine which candidate groups are to be removed. The Board posts an announcement to news.announce.newgroups and news.groups.proposals listing these groups and the procedure for discussion. The list and procedure is discussed for at least 5 days in news.groups.proposals, after which the Board may remove groups from the list.
4. Removal of groups. The Board issues the necessary rmgroup control messages and removes the groups from checkgroups and other lists of Big-8 groups.
Unmoderated groups may also be removed on an ad-hoc basis due to extremely low traffic or for other reasons that the Board deems valid. In this case, the usual procedures for removing groups are as follows.
Removing individual groups
2. The Board decides whether to publish the Group Removal RFD.
3. Discussion of the RFD takes place in news.groups.proposals.
4. The RFD is revised as needed.
5. When the proponent and the Board agree that no further revisions or research are required, the Board schedules an internal vote on the RFD.
6. If the proposal to remove the group is endorsed by the Board, the Technical Team implements the decision.
Removing groups en masse
2. A message is posted to each target group which points to the message ID of the RFD and announces that all development of the RFD will take place through discussion in news.groups.proposals and posts in n.a.n.; such notices should have followup set to news.groups.proposals, although those who wish may crosspost to the groups slated to be removed.
Moderated groups may be removed on an ad-hoc basis due to extremely low traffic, when the moderator has abandoned it and no replacement can be found (see Moderator Vacancy Investigations), or for other reasons that the Board deems valid. In this case, the usual procedure is as follows:
2. After about two weeks, the proponent posts a 2nd RFD summarizing the discussion so far and making further changes to the RFD as necessary. (If no discussion has taken place, the 2nd RFD should explicitly mention this.) This step may be repeated for 3rd or subsequent RFDs if the discussion indicates that further changes to the RFD are necessary.
3. After a further two weeks, the Board posts a Last Call for Comments (LCC) announcing that the Board will begin voting on the proposal after five days and inviting any final discussion or comments.
4. After a further five days, Board members begin voting on the RFD.
5. No later than 7 days after voting begins, the Board announces the result and the Technical Team implements it.